Yamaha unveils a wild new 469 hp prototype electric motor

The unit integrates both the mechanical and electrical components needed to work into one unit.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read

This unassuming aluminum case houses a seriously powerful electric motor that could drive electric sports cars of the future.


It's not exactly common knowledge, but Yamaha does a ton of work in developing powertrains for other vehicle manufacturers. This is in addition to making motorcycles and pianos and a zillion other things. The Toyota 2000GT? Yamaha cylinder head. Volvo V8 from the XC90? That was Yamaha, too. Ford Taurus SHO from the '90s? Absolutely. Yamaha strikes again.

But, Yamaha isn't only into developing super-rad internal combustion engines and components. It's got its claws into the EV world as well, and according to an announcement made by the company on Monday, it's doing a hell of a job there, too. Specifically, it has come up with a compact, integrated electric propulsion unit that produces upwards of 469 horsepower.

In case you're not great with numbers, that's a lot of power for one motor. It gets even sillier when you consider that many electric vehicles use multiple motors. Even more remarkable than the power output, though, is the packaging.

Yamaha has integrated all of the mechanical and electrical components into one self-contained unit that can use either oil or water for cooling, depending on a customer's needs. This means that, from a design and manufacturing standpoint, integrating it into your vehicle is a lot easier than having to find places for discrete electronics all over the place.

The implications for performance electric vehicles -- especially from smaller boutique manufacturers -- are huge, even if this motor is only a prototype. Yamaha plans to show it off, along with other electric motor prototypes, at the Automotive Engineering Exposition 2021 in Yokohama on May 26 through 28.

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